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It's not just smartphones and TVs in which the Japanese tech Giant Sony has expertise. The company is also known for manufacturing one of the best sounding audio accessories including speakers and headsets. Adding on to its ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) wireless headphone lineup, the company had recently launched the WH-1000MX3 wireless headset in India.
It has been quite some time that Sony has been toiling to bring the best noise-canceling headphones for the masses with the aim to outplay Bose in terms of audio accessories. With the lunch of the new Wh-1000XM3 headphones, Sony has taken a leap and has designed a premium pair of headphones which not only looks good but also produces high-resolution audio blocking all the outside noise at the same time without compromising much on the quality of the audio. I got to use the headphones for a few days and was really impressed by its performance. In this article, I will be sharing my comprehensive review of the headphones.
Design: Premium looks, lightweight design
The Sony WH-1000MX3 is a foldable over-the-ear headphone with a similar design as the WH-1000XM2 headphones. The primary visible physical difference is the matte textured body on the WH-1000XM3. The headphone features lightweight comfortable design and it comes as no surprise that Sony has focused more on comfort and audio quality rather than the styling. The headphone weighs just 254gms and feels very light on the head.
The headphones offer some good quality cushioning around the earcups and also on the headband. The soft padding around the earcups and the headband further ensures a maximum wear comfort allowing us to wear them for a longer duration. The earcups padding also plays a major role in blocking the exterior noises passively and provides an enhanced listening experience.
As for the placement of the keys and ports, there is a USB Type-C port for charging placed below the right earcup. The left earcup houses power key, NC/AMBIENT key which is also used to summon the Google Assistant on the headset along with the AUX input which will allow you to uses them as a wired headset. Overall, I would say that Sony has done a neat job in terms of design.
Performance and Specifications: Unmatched audio performance
The WH-1000MX3 packs a 1.6-inch neodymium dynamic driver inside each of the earcup with Sony's QN1 processor which not only improves the noise cancellation but also improves overall audio processing giving a superior sound output. The drivers deliver an impressive frequency range of 4HZ-40kHz which is an upgrade over the traditional 20Hz-20kHz frequency range of the headphones.
The sound output produced by the headphone is loud, crisp with punchy bass and you can even feel the earcups thumping on every beat. This pair is a true delight for the audio enthusiasts. I played most of the genres on the WH-1000XM3 and I am overwhelmed by the sound delivery. The lows mids and highs are balanced without any of them overpowering the other, resultant a superior high-resolution audio output. Like I said before, the bass produced by the headphones is powerful, which you can feel while playing any audio file full of beats. The vocals also sound crisp, clear and you can also identify the instruments playing in the background easily.
The earcups come enabled with touch-sensitive controls which enhances the overall user experience of the headphones. There is no specific marking to illustrate the controls, however, all you need some simple gestures to control user audio playback and calls. While swiping back or forward will change the tracks, tapping on the center of the earcups will play/pause and manage the calls. As for the codecs, the WH-1000XM3 supports aptX, aptX HD, AAC, LDAC and SBC formats for an enhanced sound quality output over Bluetooth. Also, the sound output is slightly better when the AUX cable is connected.
Handy quick attention mode:
Similar to its precursor, the right earcup in the WH-1000MX3 an interesting feature which comes handy in most of the situations. The headphones feature a Quick Attention mode which stops the noise cancellation and mutes the audio allowing you to listen to the outside sounds. To activate it all you need to do is place your palm on the right earcup and communicate with peers without taking the headphones off. The touch control on the earcups is responsive and functions smoothly which makes changing tracks and effortless task.
Google Assistant enabled:
You also get Google Assistant support with these headphones. To summon the Google Assistant, all you need to do is to press and hold your finger anywhere on the earcup, or you can use the NC/AMBIENT key placed at the bottom of left earcup. This feature works flawlessly and you can press the listening mode button to review your last mobile notification as well.
As mentioned earlier, the WH-1000XM3 feature Sony's QN1 processor which improves both the audio processing and the noise cancellation on the headphones. As soon as you put the pair on, the outside noises are blocked and you can feel the silence.
Sony’s Headphone connect app:
The headphones can also be connected to Sony's Headphone Connect app which is available on both Android and iOS platforms for free. The Connect App offers a myriad of sound-customizations options and you can easily make adjustments to the quality of the audio as per your requirements. The app also offers features such as virtual assistants and sleep timers.
You get a nifty Adaptive Sound control option in the app which optimizes the noise cancellation on the headphones simply by analyzing your nearby sounds. The headphones automatically adjust the noise cancellation feature as per the activity you are performing such as walking, sitting idle, commuting in a bus or even while you are standing still. This feature also measures the atmospheric pressure and optimizes it according to the surroundings.
Battery: 30 hours of non-stop music playback
The Sony WH-1000XM3 is a battery beast headphone. The headphone can last for almost 30 hours with continuous playback and a single charge. It takes approximately 3 hours to charge the headphones completely. Even with the NC on the headphone gives the same backup of 30 hours of continuous playback.
For charging, the headphone uses a USB Type-C port which comes with a fast charging support. I got a backup of up to 4 hours with a charge of 10 minutes which is quite impressive. The headphone also turns off automatically after 5 minutes when not in use saving the battery for later use.
Sony has indeed raised the standards with the launch of the WH-1000XM3. The headphone comes with a price tag of Rs 29,990 and is available for sale on Flipkart and Croma. The pricing is definitely on the higher side and it appears that Sony is primarily targeting the elite category of customers. The features offered by the headphones are undeniably among the premium ones. Not only they deliver a powerful sound output but are also comfortable to wear for a longer duration without any hassle.
The Headphone Connect app allows you to further enhance and optimize the sound output delivered by the headphone. You can easily adjust the settings as per your requirement to enhance to enhance your listening experience.
The headphones are fairly designed; however, the plastic casing might be a slight letdown for some considering the price point at which these headphones are retailing for. You can easily get any pair of headphone with a plastic body and a better design at a lower price point. However, if you are ready to pass the looks for the audio performance and are ready to shell out 30K out of your pockets, then this is the best sounding headphone you can get in the market at this price point.